Environmental Education

RCW students

Wake Soil and Water Conservation District is committed to advancing the environmental literacy of Wake County citizens through its environmental education, grant and volunteer programs for Wake County citizens.

Outreach Programs

K-12 Classroom Visits

Our staff can come to your school or event to provide educational programs on a wide range of topics (listed below)!  Our programs are based on NC Science standards and hands-on experiences for all learners.


  • Soil health & conservation (texture, drainage, composting, testing, erosion, best management practices)
  • Water cycle & conservation (water distribution, pollution, water quality testing)
  • NC Ecosystems & biodiversity (endangered species, local species & habitats)
  • NC Geology and soils (weathering, erosion, soil formation, NC rocks & minerals)


To request a program, please fill out the form below and email it to Leah Purvis, Environmental Educator.

leah.purvis@wake.gov      Phone:  919-250-1065

Program Request Form 

Note: Please allow at least two weeks advance notice of your preferred program date.

Collaborative Programs

Wake Soil and Water Conservation District partners with many local organizations to provide high-quality environmental education experiences for all ages. Reach out to schedule a program with us!

Contact Leah Purvis at leah.purvis@wake.gov or call at 919-250-1065.

Public Events

Wake Soil and Water Conservation District staff are available to represent our district at public events like fairs, festivals, expos, conferences and other events relating to conservation.

Student Programs

Sheila B. Jones Scholarship

To honor Sheila B. Jones, a longtime employee of the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District, the Friends of the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District are launching the Sheila B. Jones Environmental Education Scholarship.

Applicants must either be a high school senior attending a high school in Wake County with plans to attend a college for Environmental Education OR a current college student at any NC college, with residence in Wake County. One outstanding individual will receive a $1,000 scholarship to support their journey toward a career in environmental education.

Learn more


Envirothon is an academic competition that challenges five-member middle and high school teams on their knowledge in five natural resource areas: soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues. A great way to strengthen students’ naturalist intelligence!

Learn more about the Envirothon program & how to participate.

Resource Conservation Workshop

A weeklong summer "Conservation Camp" at NCSU that covers natural resources management for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Each year in March–April, Wake District awards one or more full scholarships to Wake County students! Learn more.

Conservation Poster Contest

An annual poster contest that challenges 4th grade and 5th grade students to artistically illustrate their science knowledge on a natural resource theme such as the urban water cycle, soil & water conservation, wetlands, groundwater, stormwater and watershed management.

Prizes include ribbons and certificates from the Wake District Board of Supervisors. Cash awards for the top three poster winners are generously provided by Novozymes North America. Teacher resources on soil and water conservation that include a video, booklet and lesson plans.

Learn more about the contest.

Service Learning Projects

As a community partner, Wake District can assist student groups of all grade levels with developing and implementing service learning projects that improve and benefit the environment!

For Students, Teachers, and Organizations

Careers in Conservation Scholarship

The Careers in Conservation Scholarship Program, sponsored by the NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation, is now closed for the 2024–2025 academic year.

The application opened November 27 and closed on Friday Feb. 2, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

This scholarship program aims to increase the number of professionals working in the field of natural resource management. Scholarships will be awarded to students at NC colleges and universities who are currently enrolled in, or have firm plans to pursue, a college degree in natural resource management or other closely related fields. Students can receive up to $1,000 per year, and it is renewable upon re-application.

Watershed Stewardship Schools

A project-based awards program where schools in Wake County commit to taking 10 actions to learn about and improve their local watershed. Upon successful completion, schools earn the official “Watershed Stewardship School” title by Wake District!


Interested in other Environmental Education topics? Link up with these EE organizations: